Migration (series) (2012)

Migration Series, 2011-2012

U.S. warplanes transformed into birds in the 3D program Maya. birds are output as 3D printed sculptures, plotted ballpoint pen on newsprint and illustration paper (with a nod to Audubon), laser cut mixed-media and inkjet prints.

Full Description

Process: Migration Series works begin as 3D models in the software program Autodesk Maya. After 3D models of warplanes are built and changed into plane/birds, they are rigged (given a pose-able skeleton) and positioned. These models then have iterative lives with multiple outcomes.

1) 3D Sculpture The 3D models are sent to a 3D printer as a Stereo Lithography file. The 3D printer then “prints” the sculpture by laying down cross section layers of ABS plastic .012” at a time. When all of the layers are built up, the sculpture is then ready to have a finish applied or used to make a mold.

2) Drawings The 3D models are positioned in front of a virtual camera and rendered as vector files. Each vector file contains between 4,000 and 5,000 lines. These files are then modified in Adobe Illustrator and prepared for “Drawing”. The Illustrator file is then sent to a Vinyl cutter/Plotter fitted with a ballpoint pen. The plotter then draws thousands of lines in the image by moving the pen on the X-axis (horizontal) and the paper on the Y-axis (vertical) at the same time.

Work metadata

  • Year Created: 2012
  • Submitted to ArtBase: Sunday May 27th, 2012
  • Original Url: http://peterpatchen.com/
  • Work Credits:
    • peterpatchen1, primary creator
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Artist Statement

The Migration series speaks to the legacy of American power through the transformation of F-16 fighters and B-2 bombers into birds. Just as a falconer sends a bird in search of prey, so Americans send the military to protect and acquire resources to sustain our way of life, with mixed results. Like the birds of prey on which this work is based, these birds become comforting or threatening depending on your perspective.

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